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Old December 31st, 2011, 07:38 AM   #1

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Western and German in particular role in Kosovo tragedy


Part of conversation with Miroslav Polreich. Miroslav Polreich was Czechoslovak intelligence officer, diplomat, ex-secretary of Czechoslovak embassy in USA and OSN and ex-ambassador of Czechoslovakia at OSCE.


Translated by me (be forgiving to my English ).


Whole conversation was published here: „USA a EU dopustily, aby na prahu 21. století bylo v Kosovu vyhlazeno židovstvo“ aneb „Zpravodajec je jediné povolání, v němž se nesmí lhát“


[Journalist:] In 1992 you became a member of the OSCE mission to Kosovo.

[Polreich:] Mission was to examine the security situation on the ground. At that time Croatia and Bosnia were on the agenda, and we knew that something must be done to ensure that Kosovo does not follow same pattern. Mission was led by David Peel, a longtime ambassador of Canada in Prague. I was the only East European in mission and Slav, I knew Russian, and as such I took care of Serbs, others tried to pressure the Albanians, led by Ibrahim Rugova (basic diplomatic tactic is that everyone has to "handle" their own side) . Rugova was very approachable and he was mainly for the maximum autonomy and avoiding conflicts. Pristina was then the city of young people educated abroad and fully supported the opinion of Rugova. (At the time when we were "locked" here for forty years, "Yugoslavs" had best passport, which enabled them to practically freely travel to the both East and West.) Meeting was very positive. Rugova guaranteed to have enough influence so that the conflict would only be possible upon initiation from outside. Which later really happened. On the site we made quite favorable report for the Serbs. When we returned to Vienna, we were presented with completely different report than what we wrote. It was openly anti-Serbian pamphlet. I waited little to catch my breath, and then I said that we all know that it is a lie, and that if they press with it, I will give my own report based on documents of original report. I was joined by Spanish and Swiss delegate, Swiss army general. He directly said: "I am not agent of NATO, and I will not sign the report." D. Peel as a leader paused meeting, he apologized and said that Ottawa pushed him to change main theses of report because he is diplomat of NATO member country and he leads the mission. He stooped meeting in order for "Miroslav to prepare political conclusions to each capitol and original text will be used". So at the end truth was presented. After presentation of report at the plenary meeting, ambassador of Austria Vuković, originally from Croatia, came to me and said, "That what you have done now, you will never do again. We have means to arrange it in Prague..."

The fact is that after my return to Prague I was requested in to missions by my ex-colleagues several times. Alexandr Vondra, who was first deputy of foreign minister, said that "Polreich will newer be send anywhere anymore". And so it happened. As I said, however, I was used to it already from times of former regime...

Later, as the crisis in Kosovo grew, we had the impression that our country would be an ideal mediator, so I asked the former chief of intelligence Černý to give me his people on a mission to Yugoslavia, because I had a mandate from both Rugova and the Serbs. To him, however, the name of Kosovo in 1996 meant nothing, and he basically did not wanted anything to do with it. The only hope left was Pavol Hamžík, who was at the time of my work in Vienna, my representative, and now became the Slovak foreign minister. But before I could do something, he resigned to Mečiar. So I continued to rely on the Czechs. I could not imagine that our service accepted recommendations of the Germans (as I was later told by Černý's deputy Púčik) and refused to mediate because it was not in the German interest. Even promised political audit in the intelligence services did not take place. I urged the meeting with successor of Černý, Bublan who later became minister, but he did not answer either, and it was only recently that I got letter from the present chief of intelligence, which described what kind of "star" I was. Soon after one of their employee turned to me with the request to help intelligence service with the preparing material on its modern history. I promised to tell him everything on condition that intelligence will answer a few questions to me (such as who prevent our mediation mission in Kosovo). At this the gentleman replied that he needed permission from his boss - and was not heard since...


[Journalist:] Don't you think it was a bit quixotic effort? The United States, which became for Czechoslovakia the new "empire", probably did not have wish to to settle the conflict...

[Polreich:] If I thought so, I would not have done it. And in the case of US-Yugoslav relations you are wrong - and in this mistake you are far from alone. When Clinton was asked whether he would be bombing in Bosnia (Author's note: Sarajevo was besieged by the Serbs at that time) he said that it is not so simple because we do not have only Bosnia, but the Nagorno-Karabakh and Northern Ireland! This analogy would indeed apply to Georgia as well, because the boundaries were delineated in the Caucasus in the 20ties by Stalin - and until then Ossetia nor Abkhazia (over which fighting went in 2008) never belonged to Georgia. Clinton's United States wanted to maintain good relations with Russia and any activity against the historical Russian allies of Serbia would sunk this effort. Driving force behind attack against the former Yugoslavia was Germany and later under their influence also European Union, which has been threatened, if it not recognize Croatia and Slovenia, the Germans will reduce their payments (Treaty of Maastricht II). For our part it was Zeman's Social Democrats behind this decision, which were helped on their feet by the ruling German Social Democrats. The agreement was possible, after all, only between Serbs and Croats, there was 20% of mixed marriages and hatred was artificially induced. What has happened there is a crime committed with a considerable participation of our country.

The only one except Klaus who stood on the side of peace deal, was Jirka Dienstbier, who after the war in Kosovo published a book, in which, among other things counted all the minorities in Kosovo that Albanians wiped out. He forgot only one ethnic group. In Kosovo, Jews were eliminated practically to a man. Recently I was invited to the Prague by Jewish community to a memorial meeting for the Holocaust. Towards the end I said that such meetings are very important, but it should also be noted that several years ago another Holocaust took place not far from us - in Kosovo. There was silence. Then one of my friends who was present, began to defend me, that I'm a good person otherwise. Each community has its taboos. In this one it is taboo to say out loud that the U.S. and the European Union allowed extermination of Jews in Kosovo on the brim of 21st century.

It is similar with Bosnia. I wonder whether after the arrest of Ratko Mladic and under frame of speaking truth we will maybe come to know that in Srebrenica those were Muslims who started attack on Serbs. When will it be possible to write in our country that nearly million people (half of the population) left Chechnya after its independence was proclaimed and Russian troops and whole administration left, because Sharia law was established there?
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 04:18 AM   #2

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Thank you for this, great translation.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 02:03 PM   #3

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You are welcome Helios. There were many people here who disagreed with NATO and our governments actions in Yugoslavia. In fact majority of population in Slovakia and Bohemia was against it. Especially against bombing of Serbia.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:44 AM   #4

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Quote:
The boundaries were delineated in the Caucasus in the 20ties by Stalin - and until then Ossetia nor Abkhazia (over which fighting went in 2008) never belonged to Georgia.
1) Incorrect translation
or
2) I did not understand correctly
or
3) This guy needs some history books.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 05:45 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank Ace View Post
1) Incorrect translation
or
2) I did not understand correctly
or
3) This guy needs some history books.
Here is original: "Tento příměr by ostatně platil i na Gruzii, protože hranice na Kavkaze narýsoval ve 20. letech Stalin – a do té doby Osetie ani Abcházie (o které se bojovalo v roce 2008) nikdy Gruzii nepatřily."
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Old November 9th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #6

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Documentary "Weight of Chains" about Western role in dismantling Yugoslavia.

Short interview with author about film:


Film itself:


(It is subtitled in Serbo-Croat but since film is in English it is not problem. I was not able to find English original without any subtitles)
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Old November 9th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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I see Arras that the the subject is dear to you, and I acree that the situation in the
Kosovo was dealt badly (there was only bad options) but I must repat:
Agreed and propably a hypocrite action by NATO, but what would be the
alternative? Serbs had played them selfes in the corner by their violent actions. The fault int the end is on Milocevic & co. That cannot be denied.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalli View Post
I see Arras that the the subject is dear to you
Slovaks historically had good relations with southern Slavs, for example former anthem of Yugoslavia was made from Slovak song. Yugoslavia (mainly Croat coastland) was also preferred destination for holidays in Czechoslovakia. Also there is large Slovak historical minority living in Voivodina (Serbia) which was doing rather well. Unlike our minority in let say Hungary which was nearly totally wiped out. When war broke out, it was really shock for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalli View Post
Serbs had played them selfes in the corner by their violent actions. The fault int the end is on Milocevic & co. That cannot be denied.
This I disagree. Serbs are not without guilt, but they are by far not only ones guilty. They were made in to scapegoats in the West on purpose because they were ones opposing Western interests in Balkans the most.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #9

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Seems a bit odd to blame far away nations for a conflict that originated and fed on local nationalistic prejudices. It is an easy way to point the finger at somebody else, but otherwise I do think such an allegation to be very frivolous.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #10

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One thing is historical animosity between nations in Balkans and another is when some third party selfishly exploit these problem for its own benefit and at the cost of thousands of human lives and millions expelled.
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